A new residency program at Acadiana Center of the Arts works on behalf of both theater and dance companies and the ACA itself.

By securing a Theater Residency slot at the ACA, The Compound earned not only a location for its performance of Cody Daigle's play, William and Judith, but also a portion of ACA'S marketing hand, too, when the curtain rises Thursday night.

The Compound, a new local theater company competed for the opportunity to use ACA's facility for rehearsals, the performance itself "and marketing and stuff like that for free," says Kate Waxley, marketing director at ACA. "We wanted to bring in local groups to come in and get to use the space. It's such a great space for the area. The acoustics are perfect."

In addition to the goodwill on behalf of ACA, Waxley says there's something in it for them, too.

"It's an opportunity for them, but it's for us to connect more with local organizations," she says.

Waxley says The Compound loaded in Sunday and will rehearse through opening night, which is Thursday. Speaking of rehearsal, as part of the deal groups are asked to hold an open rehearsal night, which is Tuesday, 5:30-6:30 p.m., "for the public to come in and see what's going on," says Waxley. "And then we have a Talk Back [following Friday's performance], so the audience can kind of interact with the performers and ask questions about the performance."

The play is a fantasia on the life of Shakespeare that explores issues of family and art, and the damage inflicted on one in the hopes of saving the other.

A committee reviews the applications and decides on the winner.

"We kind of took it from there and set the calendar dates and they have to go from there," says Waxley. "It's been an amazing process, bringing in a lot of local people, a lot of local talent and writers and giving them the opportunity to use a space they wouldn't normally afford and get in to."

For that matter, money is no object for theater or dance groups vying for residency at the ACA.

"It doesn't cost them anything," says Waxley. "If they decide to do extra marketing, maybe get [more]  posters printed or something extra like that, then it's on them. But we take care of everything as we would a normal performance.

"They're paid to come in and use the space, really," she says. "They profit from it."

The play is directed by Alicia Chassion and designed by Duncan Thistlethwaite and Gina Baronne. The cast is as follows: Aren Chaisson (William Shakespeare), Sarah Gauthier (Judith Shakespeare), Duncan Thistlethwaite (Richard Burbage), Steven Cooper (John Fletcher), Kate Schneider (Anne Hathaway Shakespeare), Monique Arabie (Jude Shakespeare)  and Nick Dooley (Thomas Quiney).

The play runs Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15.

 

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